Philip Seymour Hoffman: drug suspect had his phone number

Feb 6, 2014

Initial post mortem results after actor's death are 'inconclusive', after four arrested in raids

AFP/Getty Images

ONE of the four people arrested on drugs charges in Lower Manhattan after the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent overdose had the actor's phone number on his mobile.

Initial results of the post-mortem on the actor have come back as "inconclusive" but it is claimed that the 46-year-old was discovered on Sunday with a needle in his arm. Heroin, syringes and other pills were also discovered in the 46-year-old actor's home, but further tests will be necessary to determine the precise cause of death, the New York City's medical examiner's office said.

Around 350 bags of heroin were seized during the arrests on Tuesday, the BBC reveals. Police have not yet linked the men with the death of Hoffman, but reports say one of the four suspects had his number on his phone.

Drugs seized during the arrests were not identical to those found in Hoffman's home, according to the Wall Street Journal. It says that officers confiscated hundreds of packets stamped with heroin brands 'Red Bull', 'Black List' and 'Panda', three small bags of suspected cocaine and eight pills, during the raid. The packets found in Mr Hoffman's apartment were stamped 'Ace of Spades' or with a red ace of hearts.

Three of the people arrested have been charged with drug offences. Robert Vineberg was charged with heroin possession with intent to sell. Julia Luchkiw and Max Rosenblum were charged with the misdemeanour charge of possession of cocaine. The fourth person was released without charge, Sky News reports.

Police are currently reviewing CCTV footage to track the Hollywood actor's final movements. Police are investigating the withdrawal of $1,200 from Hoffman's account in six transactions in the days prior to his death, the BBC said.

The investigation continues.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: top five movie performances

4 February

THE news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has prompted film critics to reflect on his best performances, from his Oscar-winning portrayal of Truman Capote to the charismatic cult chief in The Master. Hoffman, who was found dead in his New York City apartment yesterday, has been described as one of the best character actors of all time. Here are five of his best performances:

Capote (2005)

Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of the writer Truman Capote in the biopic Capote. Despite having a much larger build than the real-life writer, Hoffman won high praise for the role. The range of that performance was "as wide as the Rockies", says Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal. "I'd never seen anything like his portrait of Truman Capote as a literary lion turned ferocious investigative tiger, plus shameless wheedler, fearless detective, ruthless manipulator and ultimately soul mate of one of his subjects."

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

One of Hoffman's best and most overlooked roles was as a scheming white collar executive in Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, says Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent. The character plots with his brother to rob their parents' jewellery store. "Hoffman knew how to make an entrance on screen," says Macnab. "The first we see of him is a shot of his enormous backside in a graphic and morbidly funny sex scene. Hoffman didn't suffer from dignity or prissiness. He was ready to put himself in the most compromising and embarrassing positions if that was what a role called for."

The Master (2012)

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw highlights Hoffman's "magnificent performance" as the charismatic cult chief loosely derived from L Ron Hubbard in The Master – a film that earned him an Oscar nomination. "The most extraordinary moment was when he did his capering little dance, like a Shakespearian fool, in a wealthy drawing room, to We'll Go No More A-Roving and the scene took a hallucinatory turn, with all the onlookers appearing to be naked, submitting in that moment to his occult leadership. It was a scene only Hoffman could have carried off," says Bradshaw. "For such a big man, he was elegant and sinuous."

Synecdoche (2008)

In Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, Hoffman plays Caden Cotard, a theatre director who is given a grant to pursue a wildly ambitious play. The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin classes the performance as one of the greatest in the history of cinema. "Caden stages an improvised play inside an abandoned warehouse that is based on his own life, and the production grows so impossibly elaborate and intricate that he becomes lost in it, shuffling through a grey area between truth and fiction half-pathetically and half-defiantly, in a way that only Hoffman could, until the curtain finally falls," says Collin.

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

Hoffman picked up another Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his role as renegade CIA agent Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's WarCBS News journalist Jere Van Dyk, hired as a consultant for the film, describes his experience of seeing the actor on set. "I was standing a few feet away and I watched Hoffman, his hair dyed black and combed back, with a thick dark moustache, wearing a dark leather jacket, still pudgy, walk up to [Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts], stop and slowly turn his head. He was standing right next to me. I felt darkness all around me [there was] something sinister and dangerous about the man next to me. 'This is a real actor,' I said to myself."

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